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What will a DI do for me?


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Take my Carvin c780. It has good Fishman electronics. But I am wanting the best sound I can get. For gigs. What would a DI box do for me? Like...



Studio quality direct box, 5 band EQ, 2 bands tunable Parametric EQ, phase inversion, low cut filter, soft start circuitry, a great sounding preamp for any acoustic application.


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that particular LR Baggs item is a preamp that has a DI feature. it allows you to boost and tweak the signal before it hits the PA or your amp.


the benefit is that you can send an untouched signal to the house PA, and a monitor friendly signal to your amp/monitor. this helps you reduce the amount of feedback on stage.

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DI means direct input. that means nothing but the signal from the guitar/bass/keys/whatever source.


preamps are used to shape the signal with eq, notch filtering, signal boost, etc.


a preamp/DI box would then have TWO outputs.


guitar -> preamp ->


a) PA (from DI output)

b) Monitor (from preamp output)

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Some people subscribe to the thought that More Is Better, some like less.


Myself, I prefer to have a better guitar with a better pickup. I want a more natural sound, so I go DI to the house PA. At the same time, for my on-stage monitor I use a little amp, facing up at me. It doesn't sound 'natural', but that is not its purpose. The sound going to the house sounds pretty natural, and that is my goal.


Others like to put a 'lil somtin, somtin' on the signal. They might buy the Baggs that you reference, or something more, or build a big rig, or whatever. It is not unusual to see multiple pickups, custom rigs of every description. Whatever floats your boat. For a time I had a Focusrite Tone Factory, which I thought was pretty cool for acoustic guitar.


What any of this stuff brings to you is the ability to shape and change your tone, or pick one that you particularly like. None of this is about the DI though. It is all preamp/eq/compression, etc.


The Direct Insertion device is simply a way to get sound to a console when a mic is not used. A DI typically has a parallel In/Out, a transformer or electronics emulating a transformer, and a second XLR out. They come in various flavors.... line level, speaker level, and instrument level. Very often today, line and instrument level inouts are available in a single box, and are switch selectable. Most DIs also have a ground lift switch, following the good practive of insuring that there is only one path to ground.


So you plug something into the parallel in and back out of the parllel out and on to your amp or whatever. It is not required to go on out to anything, you can just plug in and skip the parallel out if you don't use an amp or have a need for the parallel output. Then you plug in the XLR side to feed the PA or whatever.



My own point of view is that inserting a bunch of electronics into any signal path hurts the original signal. My idea is to keep as clean a signal path as possible. To that end I choose not to use inexpensive floor boxes on my acoustic guitar signal. But I do use a DI.


To see an interestign array and variety of Direct Boxes, go to the Radial Engineering website. They make some of the best, along with their ToneBone series of electric guitar and bass effects.



"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."


Steve Martin


Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.



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I guess me and my band are D.I. users. When we practice we are all plugged into the mixing board; guitar, bass, keys and electronic drums too. Along with the mics for vocals. We monitor ourselves with headphones and as a result, do not annoy the neighbors at any time. It takes a little getting used to and good headphones are a must. Sony MDR-V500 & audio-technica ATH-M30 headphones sound pretty good with the bass end of the sound.

Me and the bassist use Line 6 Pods and whatever else we feel like using. The board is also connected to my PC with the M-Box 2 interface with Pro Tools LE. Man, what a program,...8 tutorials, the first one 78 pages long. Lots of reading and memorizing to do. And then the rest, Amplitube,Melodyne, BFD(Big F'n Drums I think),Deux Ex Machina: The Rex Collective, Reason/Propellerhead,Live Lite4/ableton. At my age, it's a tough thing to do. The time it takes to learn all this stuff is crazy.

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What will a DI do for me?
It will make you a better lover...


It will make you 3x as strong as the next man... (Well, you'll smell 3x as strong. :freak: )


It will help you make friends and influence people.. without Dale Carnegie's help.




A para-D.I. is useful for tone shaping if you don't already have that onboard your guitar. It allows you to send a balanced signal to the PA from a distance, providing common mode rejection of rf noise which could easily become part of your signal when using a long, unbalanced 1/4" cable. It will not make you a better lover. It will not make you stronger, physically or aromatically, and it won't make you friends or influence people, unless you mean sound men who will appreciate if you tweak your sound appropriately before they even see signal. Of course, some might want to kill you if you're sending them mangled doo-doo in the form of a guitar signal. ;)


It's good to have a D.I. of your own, just in case the system owners have dogsh*t for D.I.'s, but you don't necessarily need a Para-D.I. Give it a whirl and see if it does anything for you. If not, buy a simple, un-preamp'd D.I.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman




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